“You Can Never BeToo Beautiful” and Teen Plastic Surgery

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“You Can Never Be Too Beautiful” and Teen Plastic Surgery

Chinese teenagers are being given cosmetic surgery by their parents as a  ward for their hard work in school. Three hospitals in Guangzhou reported   hat 90 percent of their plastic surgery patients were middle  school graduates   .. [whose) parents were paying for the surgery to reward children for passing   university entrance exams.  -Ana nova News Service (2005)

News In: Teenagers Opt for Cosmetic Surgery I’m only a absorb having a bigger bust would make me feel happier in my clothes   .•. I could wear better tops and not have to resort to wearing padded bras to create  the illusion of a larger bust.  Kimberley  cooke,    college student in the noted Kingdom, describing why she is interested  In having cosmetic surgery (qtd.ln Atkins,2005)  News   em: For More Teenage Girls,Adult Plastic Surgery My Family Was upset that Was so young. Burl explained  to them that it was about   being confident. -Nicole Castro of the United States, explaining  why she had breast·implant surgery (qtd. in Woodman, 2004: AI)

Although both men and women seek plastic surgery, the majority of elective cosmetic surgery procedures are performed on   omen. In the United States and other nations, the number of young. women seeking procedures such as  angioplasty (nose   shaping), breast Implants, and Liposuction-  • ton appears to be inc”easing (Woodman, 2004).

might have on children if they spend one-third of their waking time watching it, as has been estimated. From children’s cartoons to   duly shows, television programs are sex-typed, and many are male oriented. More male  than female roles are shown, and male  characters act  strikingly different from female ones. Typically, males  are more aggressive, constructive, and direct and are rewarded for their actions. By contrast, females are depicted  as acting deferential toward other people or as  manipulating  hem through helplessness 01′ seductiveness  to get their way. In prime-time television, a number of significant changes in the past   here decades have reduced gender  stereotyping; however, men still outnumber women as leading characters, and they are often   in charge”  in any setting where both men’s and women’s roles are

portrayed. In the popular ABC series Grey’s Anatomy, for example, the number of women’s and men’s roles is evenly balanced, but   he male characters typically are the top surgeons at the hospital, whereas the female  characters are residents, interns, or nurses.   n hows with predominantly female characters, such as  ABC’s Desperate Housewives, the women are typically  very attractive,  in,   d ultimately either hysterical or  compliant when dealing with male characters (Stanley, 2004).

Advertising-whether on television and billboards or in magazines and newspapers can be very persuasive. The intended message  s,clear ‘to many people: If  . they embrace traditional notions of masculinity and femininity, their personal and social success is   assured;  if they purchase the right products and services, they

Why do young women desire to undergo surgical procedures to make their b&:lies more “beautiful” or more “perfect”? According  o some analysts. the pressure to  improve one’s appearance comes primarily from acquaintances;  however. other researchers  assert that how the  media frame stories about personal appearance Influences the way that we think about ourselves and the   improvements  that we may believe our bodies require. If this  assertion is correct, media framing plays an important role in the   rowing phenomenon of young women opting for  cosmetic enhancement or change.

For example, television reality shows may encourage people to believe that cosmetic surgery could be the answer to all their   problems. These programs are framed in such a manner that the negative attributes of a person’s  ‘before” appearance are   emphasized and often exaggerated while the positive aspects of the “after’ appearance  are carefully highlighted and enhanced for   idea audiences. This type of framing gives audiences a perception  that things originally were worse than they were, that  every Thing afterward is much better than it Is. and that surgery Is a simple matter. Such stories often have a profound  influence   n how viewers see themselves and others. And In some cases. media framing even suggests that  we should want to look like a   celebrity,

Although organizations such as the American Society for Aesthetic Staples Surgery (the society of board-certified plastic surgeons)   encourage phys Sicilians to carefully evaluate teenagers on factors such as the person’s level of  physical and emotional maturity   fore performing cosmetic cosmetic cosmetic surgery (see American Society for Aesthetic Plastic  Surgery, 20031,this kind of scrutiny may be   er whelmed by intense media framing of stories about appearance  that suggest we are inadequate, by advertising that uses models   o sell all kinds of products, and by the advertisements or physical improvements and plastic surgery that